Johan Rojas’ early returns in Triple-A couldn’t be much better

The struggling Phillies outfielder is making the most out of his recent demotion.
Phillies' struggling outfielder Johan Rojas was sent down to Lehigh Valley to work on his game
Phillies' struggling outfielder Johan Rojas was sent down to Lehigh Valley to work on his game / G Fiume/GettyImages
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The Philadelphia Phillies might have something in Triple-A center fielder Johan Rojas. OK, this is a joke, but the 23-year-old is showing some encouraging signs since joining Lehigh Valley.

Johan Rojas’ early returns in Triple-A couldn’t be much better

Since joining the IronPigs, Rojas is slashing .364/.391/.545 with a .936 OPS. He hit his first career Triple-A home run in a 9-7 win against the Norfolk Tides on June 20 and has two RBI and one stolen base in five games.

Rojas was sent down to Triple-A on June 17 to make room for star shortstop Trea Turner’s return from a hamstring injury. He was struggling at the plate, slashing .235/.271/.295 with only six extra-base hits in 183 at-bats to start the season.

The young outfielder is known for his defense and speed, which has kept him in the Phillies’ lineup for parts of the 2023 and 2024 seasons, including the 2023 postseason. The area of his game holding him back is his hitting.

The Phillies thought it would be beneficial to send Rojas down to the minors to work on his swing and approach at the plate.

"I think he's gonna go down there and work at it," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said, per CBS’s Jeff Kerr. "We explained to him what he needs to do. Cut down his swing, use the field and be able to bunt. Those are the things that we need."

Rojas needs to keep the ball on the ground and put the ball in play with the kind of speed that he has. Bunting is also a key part of his game that he needs to work on because, once again, he has the speed to beat out a ball on the ground. Whatever uniform he has on, whether it’s the Phillies or the IronPigs, the team has a much better chance with Rojas on base.

It's a real possibility that we'll see Rojas back in the big leagues with the Phillies at some point this season if he continues his early success in the minors. The Phillies’ outfield group has been a weaker spot on the team all season, so there’s an opportunity for Rojas to work on his game and come back up and produce in the second half of the season.

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